Beloved Celebration deacon dies from COVID-19

The pandemic has claimed the life of a respected deacon and fixture in the Tampa Bay and Orlando communities. Larry Migliorato’s ministry spanned through Polk and Osceola Counties, where he cared for the sick, hungry, homebound and homeless. 

He provided spiritual support to the terminally ill as a hospice chaplain in Polk County, and for the past five years, he served as a deacon at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Celebration. 

His homilies focused on living the Christian faith through deeds more than words – something he knew through years of experience.

"He was one of those people who needed to fix things. That was his calling, to make things work, and he did that," said Corpus Christi Pastor Fr. Richard Trout. "Those who were sick, those who were shut in, those who can’t get out and about. He would do a great deal of visiting." 

He was ordained a Catholic deacon in Illinois but moved to Florida for the milder winters, to protect his health because he had a weakened immune system. 

He was fully vaccinated but was among the small percentage of the vaccinated who caught a breakthrough COVID-19 infection. 

And with a weakened immune system and other underlying health issues, he was among a much smaller percentage at risk of serious illness, and he was unable to recover. 

"He was a real family man. I think us men don’t always like to show our tender side, but I think Larry almost couldn’t help that," Fr. Trout said. "He could be as tough as anyone but there was very gentle and kind side to him, and that developed throughout his life. It enhanced his marriage and family and also enhanced his ministry."